Water damage is all too common — in fact, water damage is the leading category of loss in property insurance claims across the country. Significant water damage to your home can lead to immense financial losses.
Not only is water damage often costly, but repairs can be extremely time-consuming. If your home or property has suffered water damage, and it’s time to make an insurance claim, an experienced Houston insurance claims lawyer can help ensure your insurer is treating your situation fairly.
How Does Water Damage Happen to Houston Homes?
Water damage is an equal opportunity problem that can be caused by a wide range of circumstances, including the following:
Severe weather that finds its way inside or damages the home’s exterior
Clogged or improperly functioning gutters
Sewage backups into the home
Pipes that spring leaks
A supply line leak from a plumbed appliance, such as a washing machine, dishwasher, or water heater
Broken hoses or a sprinkler system that malfunctions
Other discharges of water
If you see water or moisture where it shouldn’t be, there is often more lurking, and it can deteriorate the safety of your residence and the health of everyone within it. Addressing the matter head-on is paramount.
Is Your Water Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
The fine print of your homeowners insurance policy documents will determine whether your water damage is covered. There are countless scenarios that lead to water appearing in the home, and the language of most policies lean towards sudden and accidental discharges of water as a requirement.
The insurance company will weigh its decisions more on where the water came from rather than how “dirty” the water is or how much of your property was impacted. Keep in mind that even clean running water from burst water supply lines can be a source of contamination and structural damage if it isn’t addressed soon.
As an example, most standard homeowners insurance policies will leave out sewage or sump pump backups as a valid reason for water damage claims. They may instead only offer it as an endorsement.
If your washing machine malfunctions and floods the room, you’ll need to show that you properly maintained the appliance or else the insurance company may claim this was up to you to prevent.
To cover water damage that has gotten into the home from a storm, the insurance company may require an actual opening to have been made.
You may not have coverage for mold damage and other contamination that accumulates from seepage. There may not be coverage for plumbing lines at all.
All these nuances are reasons to act swiftly when you notice water-related damage. It’s also crucial to involve an attorney to interpret your insurance documentation so that any damage that should be covered under your policy will be compensated.
Long-Term Effects of Water Damage on Homes
The long-term effects of water damage on your home are considerable and include the following:
Growth of mildew and mold, which not only emits unpleasant odors but are also associated with health concerns
Permanent staining that is difficult to remove
What If Your Water Damage Claim Was Denied?
Was your water damage claim denied? You shouldn’t let this fact dissuade you from going after the compensation to which you are entitled.
A Houston water damage claim attorney at Haun Mena will carefully assess your claim to help you determine why it may have been denied and will help you better understand your best options moving forward.
In the end, the insurance company handling your claim is in the business of making money, and if it can offload claims by simply denying them, it may stoop to this level. You have the right to file an appeal, and your water damage attorney is well prepared to do so on your behalf.
Help with Deceptive Insurance Practices
The insurance industry is held to strict rules and regulations related to good faith insurance practices in Texas. Your insurance company can be held legally accountable for engaging in any of the following deceptive practices:
Denying a claim without providing an adequate explanation for doing so
Advising a claimant that they don’t need a water damage attorney
Attempting to settle a claim for less than is reasonable
Using threatening tactics to discourage claimants from filing
Failing to settle claims within a reasonable time frame
Intentionally misrepresenting claim information in an effort to dissuade claimants from filing
Making the claims process more complicated than it needs to be
Making early but lowball settlement offers that desperate claimants are willing to accept
Rely on a Houston Water Damage Claim Lawyer to Protect You
The distinguished property damage claim lawyers at Haun Mena have experience in steering challenging water damage cases in the right direction. We allow our clients to address their complete damages and repair their homes with less stress. If your house in Houston has been damaged by water, it’s time to reach out for skilled legal guidance by contacting us online or calling us at 713-561-5334 today.
Water Damage Claim FAQs
How long do I have to file a water damage case?
In the State of Texas, you have only two years from the date that your house experienced water damage to file a lawsuit against your homeowners’ insurance provider.
How much will it cost to hire a water damage attorney?
Most reputable Houston water damage claim lawyers work on contingency, which means your lawyer’s pay will be based on the outcome of your claim. If you receive a settlement or court award, your lawyer will be paid a prearranged percentage, and if you don’t, you won’t owe anything.
Will I have to go to court?
Most water damage cases are settled out of court, which means that policyholders and insurance companies reach mutually acceptable agreements between themselves. Your attorney will advise you to file a lawsuit and proceed to court only if the insurance turns to deceptive insurance practices.